Matarazzo City



Considerations on the mega-venture you intend to bring nature and tranquility for a gray and concrete S.Paulo

the photo in counter-plot, which intended to increase the monumentality of what would already be monumental, is not of the Tower of Babel, nor of Jacob's Ladder, nor of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Nor is it a romantic ruin. From a fairy kingdom in Lord of the Rings much less. It's from Matarazzo City. More specifically, one of its most sublime buildings, the Torre Mata Atlântica.

“Condomínio” is not an appropriate name for the “place that generates emotions, where everything is beautiful and possible”, as we read during the virtual tour of the project's website. Well, Wikipedia says: “Cidade Matarazzo is a luxury megacomplex under construction located in the Bela Vista neighborhood, central region of São Paulo”, “Architect: Jean Nouvel”.

What a cold definition, not at all poetic. Let's not be deceived, because his designation is more than that, we already know! It is a brazilwood parade of dreams and allegories. No, maybe it's a postmodern celebration. In videos we see whole trees, not stripped of their roots, flying to the building, that is, being brought in by helicopters. Modern, postmodern, what matters at this point? The important thing is to be happy.

According to a perspective, certainly mistaken, we can see there a museum, a cemetery in which the corpses of Utopia, Poetry, Manifesto, Forest, Beauty, City were placed together. No, they moved them there, like native trees, to escape the suffocation they were in. They lacked air. The condo is your pneumothorax. Or will it be your Noah's Ark? But Noé only thought about his own, saved what interested him and closed the door during the entire storm. Cidade Matarazzo floats in chaos with its doors open and is interested in the Entorno, an entity with which it joins hands. User-friendliness. Biodiversity. Tolerance.

Mata Atlântica, Anish Kapoor, Mobiliário Brasileiro, “the ancient atmosphere of the Old Umberto Primo Hospital”… All immersed in the same equalizing and holy water. Baptismal. The Umberto Primo Hospital building will now be a space for new experiences. New Man's Laboratory.

The venture, the company, or rather the Adventure, has a concept, creators. Even a creative manifesto. And why not, epigraph! A phrase from Leonardo da Vinci (he enters here as an entity, such as Mata Atlântica and Mobiliário Brasileiro): “Perfection is not a detail, but is made of everyone” (all what? where is the plural term antecedent? The negligence grammar makes me doubt, unfairly, the authorship of the sentence. Is it really Leonardo? Well, such a sophisticated project wouldn't fool around by making wrong quotes or mistranslated or improperly attributed).

Of course, if I speak of perfection, I think of the Italian Renaissance and then of Leonardo. A clear and classic reasoning. In order to achieve perfection, every detail was thought of for a good life, even racial inclusion — at least there is a beautiful black model in the advertisement, and those she represents are likely to be included in this luxury complex. Advertising dissolves all historical debts. But I still don't understand the phrase itself, which is anodyne. Anyone could have said that, no need to quote Leonardo! It's the only fix I have to make.

Believe me, look on the website of…. concept, product, work of art, utopia. Yes, it is not hidden that this is the idea, and in the heart of Jardins, in the heart of Paulista, in the middle of “everything” (this is also an important entity here). There is even respect for the city outside the citadel (“respect for the city”, they say at one point in the virtual folder).

Cidade Matarazzo is just the most modest name for Augustine's City of God, Plato's ideal Republic, Eldorado, etc. etc… Believe me, this concrete-oneiric realm – erected during the Pandemic! and we didn't see it – it's going to be inaugurated, there are already suites for sale, there's even a “Creative Manifesto”. And I reproduce here an excerpt of it: “No, sorry, I will do even better — I will reproduce the quote they make from the manifesto itself at another point of the virtual tour: “Cidade Matarazzo is not just a real estate project of unimaginable proportions, it is not not just a unique international center for art and culture, it is also not limited to being an unprecedented hub for fashion and creative brands. It's not just a hotel or a unique address in the country. It cannot even be defined as the revitalization of a huge green area in one of the busiest business and life centers in the world. Matarazzo floats on a plane far above that. We intend to share with Brazil and the world a more open and light look, a more daring and humane way of interpreting the universe and living life”. (In: Matarazzo City Manifesto).

Academic citation, with In and all. There are no signed authors, after all it is collective. I forgot to say that they also present themselves as Movement, in addition to Lifestyle. Condominium-movement, innovative like the parties-movement. Did you notice the anaphora in the Announcement, better saying, Annunciation: it's not just…, it's not just… it's not just…. My heart is beating very fast right now… It floats on a plane far above all that, yet it includes it too. It is transcendence in immanence and transcendence alone as well. It goes further, it seems so concrete, but it is abstract, it becomes concrete again to redeem our stone jungle. My god, “a more open and lighter look, a more daring and humane way of interpreting the universe and living life.”…. It is also a philosophy, or rather a philosophical system, it is also… The marriage of Heaven and Earth. It is still our contribution to the concert of nations.

Just one more small remark in addition to the one about Leonardo's phrase: I think it spoils the name “Matarazzo” a little. It reminds me of macaroni, cornstarch, ugly avenue and bad cookie in the middle of the Promised Land. I understand that it is also a quote, from the early 400th century bourgeoisie, which at this point is four hundred. A century in Brazil is worth 2022. Matarazzo is equivalent to the current bandeirante of the first and heroic Modernism, whose centenary is celebrated in the current year of XNUMX. In other words, he is the totemic divinity of a new collective, a collective that “floats, in a very above". I understand all this, but I will always remember biscuits, Moinho Santista, ugly avenue, industrial chimney (it's not Masp that comes to mind, no).

Although, with so much deindustrialization, it's better not to complain too much. Industry — we pay homage here just like to Mata Original.

If I want to write a poem about nature, I'll go to Matarazzo City and there I'll sit in the shade of rediscovered cinnamon and peach trees.

“Do you know the country where the lemon tree flourishes?
Among the dark branches burn golden oranges,
A light breeze blows from the blue sky,
Behold, the calm myrtle rises, the laurel looks proud!
Do you know? O depart! Leave
There, with you, Beloved! Oh! I wish I could go!”[1]

*Priscila Figueiredo is a professor of Brazilian literature at USP. Author, among other books, of Matthew (poems) (well i saw you).



[1] Excerpt from “Canção de Mignon”, by JW Goethe, translated by Paulo Quintela.


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